Sin tax list expands to include sugary drinks and vaping

Sugary drinks, vape devices and vape juices are to be the focus of new sin tax categories following a decision by the UAE Cabinet.

The expansion of the 2017 list of taxable products starts on 1st January 2020.

New additions include non-fizzy sweetened beverages and electronic smoking devices, after the sale of the latter was legalised in February 2019.

The Cabinet General Secretariat said the decision is in line with the government’s efforts to improve public health and prevent chronic diseases caused by consumption of “unhealthy goods.”

“A tax of 50 percent will be levied on any product with added sugar or other sweeteners, whether in form of a beverage, liquid, concentrate, powders, extracts or any product that may be converted into a drink,” the statement adds.

Manufacturers will also be required to clearly show the sugar content of their products.

It goes on to say: “A tax of 100 percent will be also levied on electronic smoking devices, whether or not they contain nicotine or tobacco, as well as the liquids used in electronic smoking devices.”

In October 2017 the UAE started levying excise tax, otherwise known as sin tax, on goods deemed harmful to health and the environment.

First to be affected were carbonated drinks, with a 50 per cent excise tax rate, and 100 per cent added on tobacco and energy drinks.

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